Early Help forms and support for professionals

The name ‘ CAF ’ has changed to Early Help Assessment. This reflects that now we are using Signs of Wellbeing, we have moved away from the structure specified in the  CAF framework. We also think Early Help Assessment is easier for everyone to understand.

Early Help forms

Completed Early Help forms, including direct work with children and young people, should be sent to the Early Help Brokerage Team at EHB@cheshireeast.gov.uk

If you have no access to secure email please use Egress

Early Help guidance

There is guidance included within the form below on how to complete each section of the form.

If you would like more information about Signs of Safety or Wellbeing please see the Signs of Safety page on the LSCB website. If you have any questions you can contact us at SignsofSafety@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Professionals may also want to refer to the multi-agency guidance on thresholds of need (PDF, 1.5MB) and levels of need poster (PDF, 6MB) on the LSCB website

When discussing consent and information sharing with children, young people and their families, practitioners should advise them that the form will be stored centrally and securely.

Practitioners completing Early Help forms should keep the original signed copies in a secure place, following their own agency procedures. If you will be sending it in to us electronically, please write "signed copy on case file" on the signature line(s).

Arrangements with other Local Authorities

Every Local Authority has its own arrangements for early help assessments; some use CAF others use different assessments – but they are all fairly similar. It has been agreed across the North West authorities that each LA will accept another authorities forms. So for example if a child lives in Middlewich but attends a school in Winsford (Cheshire West) and some one from the school starts a CAF using the Cheshire West forms, we in Cheshire East will accept those documents. Similarly if a SENCO at a school in Wilmslow wishes to do an Early Help assessment for a child resident in Cheadle (Stockport) who attends Wilmslow school then Stockport would accept the Cheshire East paperwork.

Quality assurance

A selection of Early Help assessments and plans will be audited every other month by representatives from a range of agencies. Best practice will be shared in training and with the LSCB .

All Early Help records are stored securely in the Children's Services case management system.

Contact us

Early Help Brokerage
Cheshire East Council


0300 123 5012 (option 3)

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